Endigar 233 ~ Noteworthy

I am quoting another recovery blog.   I discovered it because of her comment on Endigar 230.  I thought the recent entry entitled “Noteworthy” may provide a balance to my last entry, and so I quote it here.  I think it was published on 9/11 in her blogsite [http://sofreelygiven.wordpress.com/]. 

I often tap things into my iPod, during meetings, when I listen to speakers, etc.

For instance:

I had no idea until quite recently that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was based on the biblical book of James.  Early AA’s would go into hospitals and present the book to suffering alcoholics.  Upon further research I have found that our fundamentals also come from 1 Corinthians 13 and also Emmet Fox’s work “The Sermon on the Mount”.  These were our ‘literature’ before our Big Book existed.

Fox’s secretary was the mother of a man who worked closely with Bill W.  It was partly because of this connection that early AA groups went to hear Fox and also why his writing subsequently became so popular in AA.

The following notes are from Father Meletios Webber’s “The 12 Steps of Transformation.”  Fr. Webber is an Eastern Orthodox Priest who is himself in recovery.  I paraphrase wildly:

Yes, but means no.  Everything I say after “but” negates what I said before.  “I love you, but you make me angry” means only “you make me angry.”

Spiritually speaking, the most valuable thing a person can do is admit their brokenness.  (Step One.)

We can tie God’s hands.  (To me, this means I can pray that God show me his will but I will get in his way regardless.  I put up the roadblocks.  Where is God?  Why isn’t he helping me?  But all the while I am playing God.)

Step 1-I Can’t       Step 2-You Can      Step 3-Please Do

Moral=Honest (Step 4)

There is only one prayer to begin–Thy will be done

*A favorite*  There are 3 criteria for talking:  That it be TRUE, That it be NECESSARY, and That it be KIND

When I have spoken unkindly, my heart was not in front of my mouth.

On the subject of ego:  The ego doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a collection of thoughts titled “Yes but what about me?”  “How the world has let me down.”

Heard in meetings:

Pride keeps me sick.

Am I important enough for this power to care about.  (Good for me to hear, as I suffer from low self-esteem.)

We fail forward.  (I use this often with my sponsees.)

I didn’t come to AA because I saw the light, I came because I felt the heat.  (not necessarily the law!)

Defenses of character (They are like our armor, aren’t they?)

I must turn over my knowledge of right and wrong to God.  (What a tall order!)

If someone tells me something I’ll forget it, if someone shows me something I’ll remember it, if someone involves me in something I’ll remember it.  (I have since learned that this is a Chinese proverb, and my experience shows this to be true.)

Fear is a dark room where negatives are developed.  (Heard on a Searcy W. speaker tape.)

I conditionalize my happiness.  This is because of my lack of acceptance.  (Not me!)

Jump into the lap of God.  (Yeah baby!)

Robbing people of their emotional sobriety.  (Causing them worry, etc.  I am an expert at this.)

The 12 steps are terms of surrender.  They smash my ego.  (But it rebuilds itself, that’s why I never stop working them.)

Humility=surrender

When I lay down at night and I go to sleep fairly fast I am doing well.  (Relative.)

If the quality of your life diminishes faster than you can lower your morals, you might be an alcoholic!

Giving rather than getting will become the guiding principle.  p.128  (I wrote this down because I can be such a GETTER!)

I do have a problem with the casual way the word surrender is used in the program and thus feel compelled for clarity’s sake to add my own qualifications.  I have served in the military for a while.  And there, the word surrender means that you have been captured by the enemy.  Your life is being preserved only for the benefit of someone that hates you, your home, and your way of life.  Any soldier will be looking for a way of escape from the captivity that such a surrender has brought them to.  “I am powerless over alcohol.”  I am acknowledging that I have been defeated by alcohol, and have surrendered to its power over me.   If surrender was the goal, then why resist the powerlessness of alcohol?  Why not make alcohol my Higher Power?  This sort of defeated non-consentual belly up surrender to an exploitive parasitical tyrant is not the kind of surrender I believe leads to recovery.

The kind of surrender I pursue in the program is to seek connections with a power greater than myself, that cares about me.  I am seeking intuitively inspired stewardship for my life.

2 Responses to “Endigar 233 ~ Noteworthy”

  1. sofreelygiven Says:

    Just returned from a meeting, my new service commitment actually, where I suggested surrender or defeat as a topic (!) I read from step one in our 12 and 12:

    We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences. Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety — if any — will be precarious. Of real happiness he will find none at all. Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A.A. life. The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.

    A fellow alcoholic shared something which gave me a bit of an ‘a-ha’. He said that to surrender is to join the winning team. He also said that when we do get to the winning side, we do what they (the winners!) have been doing. In our case, that’s the steps. He went on to say that anyone who comes into Alcoholics Anonymous without working the steps is doomed to failure. (I paraphrase. I think he said f*cked.) I liked his spin on the surrender deal and thought I’d share.

    Love, peace, chicken grease. ~Rhonda

  2. sofreelygiven Says:

    Oops I made a typo in my blog post. The quote actually goes:

    If someone If someone tells me something I’ll forget it, if someone shows me something I’ll remember it, if someone involves me in something I’ll understand it.

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